Stereo-3D Needs More Time to Impact Gaming Industry - id Software

Another Game Developer Condems Stereo-3D Technology

by Anton Shilov
08/25/2010 | 09:56 PM

Chief executive officer of id Software, a subsidiary of Bethesda and the developer of legendary Doom and Quake franchises, said that stereo-3D technology must become more affordable so that to impact video game industry. Before that happens, few game developers will adopt stereo-3D (S3D) for their titles.


"Maybe we are getting to the point where the people who have been pushing 3D, or are pushing 3D now, have figured out a way to make it cool and not so nerdy that nobody wants to do it," said Todd Hollenshead, chief executive of id Software in an interview with Eurogamer web-site.

The head of the legendary game developer admits that S3D brings new experience and enhances the look of content. But the necessity to wear special glasses adds huge discomfort.  

"I was a little annoyed that I had to wear these glasses for two hours in a movie. My nose hurt by the end of it. [...] If you are playing games and move your head then it can get out of phase, which is a major issue," said Mr. Hollenshead.

But the most important drawback is the price of stereo-3D televisions amid the lack of content. Some, but obviously not all, people can wear glasses and even enjoy S3D games or movies, but the price of the hardware and eventually the software is too high for the masses.

"The [S3D] TVs are [...] expensive. Is there enough content to justify?" asks the head of id.

Todd Hollenshead is by far not the first game developer to criticize S3D technology. Nonetheless, many analysts claim that stereo-3D will be quickly adopted by gamers thanks to the fact that the latter are usually early adopters of virtually all technologies.

Considering the comments that Mr. Hollenshead gave, it becomes completely unclear whether id Software's next-generation Rage video game due in September, 2011, will actually support S3D rendering natively or hardware companies will have to enable it from the drivers. But since the head of id implies that stereoscopic 3D just needs time to become mass, it may mean that the company's game that will follow Rage may indeed adopt native S3D. If the development of the post-Rage game takes another seven years, then we will witness id's approach to stereo-3D already sometime in 2018.